Category Archives: Dogs and cats

The dog



Remember Poppy? She’s made herself right at home with our little crowd and now we aren’t sure what life was like before she got here. True to her advertised size, she’s about 40 pounds and she’s just about done growing – ┬áI think. We’ve given in and she now sleeps on the bed with us. At one point last night, she had wiggled her way up between Coach and me and kissed me on the nose. Her head was on MY PILLOW.


She is whiny, she won’t stay outside for longer than 46 seconds at a time, and she likes to eat paper. A LOT. And, she steals The Boy’s chips, animal crackers, cookies, or whatever else he has in his hands if he doesn’t keep it away from her (which, most of the time, he doesn’t).

She’s mine. Really. My dog. What!? I’m not a dog person, remember? I like cats. But she’s my dog. My very own Poppy Calypso. And I love her.





Six months ago, our Great Dane died. I took the loss harder than I thought I would. Some months later, I realized I had learned some very important things from Cornbread and I wanted another chance to be a better dog parent.

The first few times out to look didn’t go so well. Somebody inevitably left in tears. Or with a shrug of the shoulders and a, “we’ll eventually find the right one..”

On Memorial Day, we went to visit a new puppy. She and her brothers had been rescued by our local vet, when the mom was hit by a car. She had little black eyes and a cute little face. She’s got little white socks and a white streak on her face. If she was a boy, she’d definitely be Harry Potter. She was the smallest of the siblings and I liked her right away. She seemed spunky and sweet. My brother said she looked like “a little s**t,” (and he was mostly right) but I was smitten. She’s a lab/border collie mix. Our vet says she shouldn’t be as big as a full lab; that she’ll likely stay on the smaller side.

It’s been about six weeks with her and she’s made herself right at home with our little crowd. We named her Poppy Calypso. Poppy, because it’s the traditional flower of remembrance for Memorial Day. I wanted to honor that day AND remember what we learned with Cornbread. When I inevitably get frustrated at the irritating puppy phase, or feel a bit overwhelmed at having another baby in the house, I remember. The Calypso is what Coach came up with for a name “in case we ever wanted another baby and it turned out to be a girl.” I told him the puppy was as close as we were ever getting to THAT, thankyouverymuch.

She’s good with the kids, playful, and (mostly) house-trained (as long as we’re paying attention). She throws herself at the door when she wants to come back in like she’s running from the zombie apocalypse, and you can count on her to start whining to get out of her crate at 6am-SHARP. But, she’s funny. She loves to fetch, and she’s gentle with the kids. Doc is conquering her fear of her and I’m really proud of the progress she’s making.

I’m glad we got her. I’m glad I’m getting a second chance. I hope Cornbread is proud.


Sadder than I thought I would be


The family dog died this morning. He was at home, and Coach was there with him, so that’s something I guess.

We got him when I was VERY pregnant with Doc. We’d been looking for a bulldog when a friend of the family told Coach her Danes had just had puppies and he could pick one. We went to visit the puppies and pregnancy hormones…well, it was love at first sight.

First impression

We brought him home in September – a couple of weeks after Doc was born. Munchkin carried him home in her lap. We named him Cornbread Mater Corley.


It wouldn’t be long before he was too big for ANYBODY’s lap. But at first, he was little. Even as a puppy, he was calm. He wasn’t the typical rambunctious puppy. He DID like to dig, and he went through several “indestructible” pillows, but he was the best puppy I’ve ever lived with. It WAS a little like having twins, though. I’d get up with the baby human and Coach got up with the baby dog.

He always had the best Halloween costumes.

Life was pretty good with Cornbread until Doc grew up enough to realize she was afraid of him. Gentle giant that he was, he must have sensed this because he became content to stay in his crate, on his pillow, as long as he was in the living room with us.

Once The Boy was born, I found my hands so full with the addition of the third that Cornbread increasingly became “one more thing” I had to keep up with. And still, he seemed content. The yard was his domain and he was just as gentle and accepting of whatever attention we could ration in an otherwise overflowing life. I knew a year ago that we probably should find him a family who could make him a more active part of their lives, but none of us were really ready to give up.



The past month or so, however, saw Cornbread slowing down. I’d been reading about how Danes don’t typically have long lifespans, and I know I complained A LOT about him, but even I was surprised at how quickly he declined and how sad it made me to think about him being gone from our life. I tried changing his food and leaving him out more; to the chagrin of Doc. But once he decided it was time, I guess, there wasn’t much we could do.

This morning, Coach said he started having trouble not long after I left with the Littles (Doc and The Boy). It wasn’t two hours after that and Coach said he was gone.




I think I’m done having pets for a while. The children need all the attention I can give them and, as I’ve told my sister time and time again, I’m not a dog person. They need the same kind of attention as a human child and I have lots of those already. A dog deserves a family who will cherish him/her and make him/her part of their daily lives. While Cornbread was always right there with us, he was not really a part of our life.

I’m glad he did not suffer long and I’m so glad Coach was home with him when the time came. I’m glad I wasn’t there. I want to think of him as he was before he became so sick. The┬áridiculous halloween getups we put on him.┬áSweet brown eyes that could talk you out of that last chicken strip or forgive him for just about anything. How he liked to sit on the hill, in the yard, and take in the breeze and the sunshine.




Goodbye, friend.